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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"My Story" Tuesday: Terry Palmer

Oh, what a mess I made. Working two jobs, getting meaner by the minute, no time for family or God.
That was me before my little “knock, knock,” wakeup call. You see, I was striving with God, doing the “I can do it myself”’ thing. Yeah, sure, paying the bills and driving myself and all around me crazy, Didn’t know it, but my life was a desert. Parched, empty, horrid to be in or near. Get the picture?
As a Christian I knew God since accepting Him at the age of eight, but you wouldn’t know it. I spoke church way too well, while my insides wanted to scream out in testimony that no, all was not well.
Leann, my wife and treasure, how did she ever put up with that? Must be a reward in heaven for a dear one such as her. She’s a writer too. Christian romance is her game. Three novelettes that I’m encouraging her to get to market or share with those precious Scribes at ACFW.
How she ever survived my great rebellion—well, some things I’ll never understand, but here we are several years later, and she still loves me. Guys, a woman’s love is a treasure. Hold it as near and dear to your heart as you can.
You see, I was caught in conflict. Part of me desperately needed the love and support I was too busy to appreciate. The other part was too busy at both jobs, learning to be mean and angry, and doing it too well.
Then…, “knock, knock… remember me? I’m the God you have no time for. Why are you living in a desert when I offer so much more?”
How did he get my attention? Real simple and in the blink of an eye, in March 2008, a work table fell down and caught me across my chest, pushing me back against a pile of product. Within the hour my shoulders, neck, arm, and hand were screaming at me with the big OUCH!
But…, hey, I’m a guy, I can take it, right? Tell that to the stack of pillows and bottle of aspirin. This OUCH was moving in to stay.
You know, the trip to see a surgeon for his opinion, along with charts, ugly ouch telling x-rays, are not conducive to a happy trip and cheerful smile. Nor is trying to lie still for an MRI while your shoulder and neck are screaming “Let me outa here.” Nor are three surgeries, foreclosure, and an empty fridge, or months on unemployment with no bridge.
I was caught in conflict. My own way, my masterful striving without God? What would I do now?
Day time TV really sucks!
Imagine a spiral down; yep, way down. Long dark nights awake wondering, just wondering. Now that the pain is gone and my arm will hardly move and I’m looking at six months of therapy, the long dark slope, whoosh…
“Knock, knock… you ready to come out yet? I have something for you.”
“Nope, not listening, too bitter and lonely”…, and day time TV REALLY sucks now.
I’m tired of this. My own way should hit the highway, because falling any deeper ain’t getting pretty.
“Okay, God, what’s this something You have for me?”
What I didn’t know but was glad to find was a Savior ready to haul me out of the miry clay, set me on my feet with a brand new way.
Different focus on His Word, actually tried praying for real as if, you know, God was right there with me instead of just some celestial entity. He became real and active in my life. He visited me with Healing, and what was this? My mind filled with long sequences of thoughts and bliss.
I received Calm Assurance. And Happiness. An inner drive to accomplish a great task for our Lord.
I could relate to Leann on an even level, Bless His Holy Name.
What happened was this – I took the S from the Savior and changed my desert to DESSERT. It came with a free gift, a passion to tell the world that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all. Hear it world, because ready or not, He’s coming to an address near you. Long passages, sequences, full of angels fighting darkness, no passive tale is this.
Six months of recovery led to me sitting at the keyboard or outside on the lawn bench, receiving download after download, learning to do something. I know now that it’s called writing a novel, but then it was a collection of sequences and action plots and disasters sequenced to show people that God is Real and Active. Not for my ego, but for His Glory, and I couldn’t get away from the downloads from Him. I had to write. Not much of it made sense, but within a year and a half I had five of them.
Lacking discernment, I tried it my way first, looking and reading the fascinating titles of the day, thinking that I must bend what I received toward the mystical, the fanciful, the murderess, or worse. If some of you read that baloney in scribes, you’ll know. It almost put me out of writing.
“Knock, knock, getting kind of dry? Are you ready for MY WAY?”
Now as I resume His path, they come again, something I can take no credit for, having them poured out to me, and still they come as I edit, trying to fashion them as led.
Sure, they’re light on character development, and I don’t landscape very well, but His message comes pouring through, driving the theme home.
Don’t know either if others have this or not, being so new to writing. Am willing and able to learn, but I feel that it is time, a great passion to get this message to market, so that those in darkness who might never darken a church door, or ever read a Bible, to those who God is less than relevant, but will read a stirring adventure can know Him through my writing, to come to Him – for it is time.
My characters – can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. They flounder and wonder and suffer great events as darkness tries to snuff out their witness, but behold, His Light overcomes in that day, for the Glory of God. They know His Truth and His truth sets them free. They learn II Timothy 1:7. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, and love, and sound mind.
Don’t know if they’re marketable or agent bearing, but I know that Acts 2 and Ephesians 6 and Isaiah 5 seemed to have somehow zipped open and landed on my keyboard, sending my characters with vision and gift into battle with angelic hosts against the darkness in His Name.
So now what? I’m back at ONE job, taking care to put Him first, floundering and wondering, just like my characters, feeling and living what my characters do, darkness around me, trying to stop my mission, but then His Light, and Calm Assurance – so Precious.
So here I am today, with five novels to edit according to His direction, not mine, and it’s a burning Passion. My job now is to keep it simple and true, straight from the heart, for the Glory of God. Diane, Pastor Herb’ wife came up with that line as characters in From the Brink of Disaster. It’s kept me on course, for why would I leave DESSERT to go back to desert? How about you?
Terry Palmer
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